Live puking…

Yeah, it’s Thursday. I can’t believe it’s Thursday… that was quick! And because it’s Thursday, it’s also coffee talk—it’s just going to be about “this” Thursday rather than a general question…

So, tonight, in front of friends and loved ones, I was supposed to do my first live reading. It got canceled… but then we said screw it and we’re doing it for a small circle of friends anyway. Because I practiced my butt off and need to get this out of the way. So I’m still reading tonight… with live footage to Canada even! No big deal right? I talk all the time—hell, I’ve been accused of never shutting up. But this is different. I’ve done convention panels and I’ve done school plays, no problem. But this is different. This is my words, being judged live.

That’s the part that’s killing me. Just like when I had to read a paper in front of the class.

Hey if you don’t like my writing, that’s fine. You don’t give me an A on a paper? Fine. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m not one of those whiners or babies that think you should or you’re not my friend. Everyone likes what they like and hates what they hate. But usually when someone reads something of mine, I’m not the one doing the reading. I’m not standing right there to see their expressions.

Speaking of expressions… part of what makes me nervous is that it won’t be strangers. There would have been “some” at the library, but now it’s none. I love who’s coming, but they also make me more nervous. I think strangers would have been easier [and yet, I point blank asked 2 specific people to be at the library, yes, I’m mental]. Instead, it’s going to be my kids, my friends, my mentor and big brother (the library was going to include my boyfriend’s parents and boss, so at least I dodged THAT bullet!) It’s not going to be someone at a con telling me they enjoy my blog, or that they read my story in _____ and didn’t really care for it. I can tell them I hope they like the next one. This… this is live. I know if I’m bombing before I’m done. I’ll know… oy.

Of course, I was Buttercup and I’ve been practicing and trying to find my inner Kelli “fucking” Dunlap to take over the show for me and do this. But I’m still nervous. I get a little more nervous and a little less nervous every day. It’s a very Sybil kind of surreal week.

But wait, we need a question for coffee talk, don’t we. Well, I went and answered before I asked again. This week is “share your pain.” Tell me about the thing that made you most nervous. That thing you had to do that made your stomach jump and your knees buckle. Did you vomit? Did you faint? Did you have to do it again at a later point and it became easier, or is your nervous fear a permanent thing?

I’ve personally never puked or passed out, and am hoping to keep that track record going. But hey! A Galliger-style reading would be new—just don’t be in that front row when I finally do this for a crowd, cuz I’m not bringing watermelons!!

0 Responses to Live puking…

  • wolfnoma says:

    (Reply Via Keenedom)

    Kelli,

    You can always do what Brian does and have a few fingers of Basil Haydens and a Cigar… In all seriousness though I do have a morsel of a story for you to chew on while you wait nervously for your guest to arrive tonight. Get comfortable, put on your fuzzy slippers, pour yourself a cup of hot joe and light up a smoke cuase here I go…

    I grew up in the Midwest from a region I am sure you are familiar with and while growing up I was always taught to do my best to not draw attention to myself. I tried, I tried really hard and in most cases I succeeded to remain anonymous in almost any given situation. In school I tried to sit in the middle of the class and not raise my hand on questions I knew and I never tried to “Know” too much when it came to testing. My grades were average and I was never an excellent athelete in any of the sports I played. I stayed almost completely in the “Middle of the Pack”. When I joined the Navy I tried to not be an extrovert and stay out of trouble or the attention of my superior officers and enlisted men. I tried and I tried to stay out of trouble, I observed a lot and I made a slew of mental notes that I savor today in the dead of night about all the antics of my shipmates and friends. (Yes, there is a difference between Shipmate and Friend) When I got out of the Navy and went to college and then on to start my Civillian life I tried not to excel too much there either. Although not completly successful (My theoretical mathmatics Proffesor had me do some tutoring for him). My proffesional life was filled with averageness and quite peaceful for an extremely long time.

    Then… oh boy, THEN…. THEN…. I got a DREAM JOB!!!! A job in which my hobby and a major pastime of mine started to PAY ME!!!! And a F*&%Ton of reckognition came pouring down the pike. Literally. Soon, in my small community here in Southeastern Virginia people started to know me by site and name. And not just people I have seen at my work but others in my field that I come into contact with seem to have heard about me and it all stems from one thing I did when I first got my new job. What is this cataclysmic event you ask? Hmmm. Ok, since I am being so forthright with you and the rest of the board who may read this here is some more;

    I wrote a History Essay. That’s it. I wrote it for a work related project at the request of my Director. (Don’t bother looking for it by the way, I destroyed it in one of my Infamous Burnings) But once I wrote it and she read it and then she called me in her office and said “You know, this is pretty good. So good that I have called Mr. X and Mr. Y and Mrs. Z and they are putting together a forum at Business D on such and such day at such and such time and I want you to go and represent Us and read this to their group.”

    (HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD!!!! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE SH&^%$# ME!!!!) was the only thought that ran through my mind at the speed of white hot lightning. I almost vomited right there in her office on her 200 year old desk. “Ok” is all I could manage to say as I stumbled out of her office as red and blue flashing warning lights went off in my head along with my mental Claxon bell warning my I am about to sink to depths deeper than the Marianas Trench.

    Just thinking about it right now is bringing the bile up in my esophagus. As a matter of fact I am also feeling a bit clamy about this whole affair right now. I need a Cigar, I need some expensive Scotch… I need… I need… I need to finish this tale if not for you then for my own therapy.

    Flash Forward…

    3 sleepless days and nights after that “Pants Wetting” meeting with my director I became almost semi-cofortable with the idea of standing in front of a room full of people who I knew for a DEAD ON BALLs ACCURATE FACT knew more about the subject matter in which I was going to give my “Speech” on. And as the days passed I started to accept the fact that I was a doomed man on his way to the gallows and that I would most likely be fired from my job for being a total blithering idiot. So much so that I started to look in the want ads for positions I knew I could do, Fry Cook on Midnght shift at Waffle House… CAN DO! Bed Pan Nurse Needed… GLADLY!!!! Road Kill Engineer… NO PROBLEM!!!! I had my Resume all filled out and updated.

    When the day of my death finally arrived I was about as mentally wrecked as one person could get. As a matter of fact while standing on the platform in front of 200 or so people that I knew and did not know I made a mental checklist that goes something like this;

    Sweat… Check and Profusely
    Eyeballs… DIALATED
    Mouth… Dry and filled with Cotton
    Speach… Wrinkled beyond recognition of the words.
    Exit Doors… Blocked!

    When I was introduced I walked up to the podium with all the lights in the house on me and then;

    I have no memory of what happend next. To this day I have no clue if I told a joke, read my paper or anything. Heck, I don’t even remember the 20 minutes of Questions and Answers. I do however remember that almost everyone thought I did a good job and I have even given more speaches since and talked to some pretty cool people who are interested in what I do and what I wrote. And, when someone asks for me to give them a copy of that paper or if I can give a speach on that subject again I honestly tell them that I can’t find that speach anymore or that paper. (Truthfully, it has been BURNED and the ashes have been dropped into the Atlantic Ocean.)

    I don’t know if this will help you or not. But I do know I wish I were one of the folks on the invitation list to tonights performance. I can also tell you that it will get better and you wont feel so bad after you get a few of them down. Heck, just picture the Hippy doing a Piroutte in a TuTu if you have to.

    Oh, one other thing, if Qweequeg is there, Give her my Love.

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